Just over halfway through the year, there is still much to say about just how different Herefordshire’s new engineering university (NMiTE) is daring to be.
We need to be prepared to break the mould in order to make a difference to Herefordshire’s economy; to UK engineering businesses; to the UK’s supply of engineering graduates; to the way engineering is taught. So we have just finished developing an admissions process that will target talented and high calibre applicants with passion, grit, and curiosity but who do not necessarily have Maths and Physics A levels – or, in some cases, even A levels at all.
We’ll start to trial our approach when we recruit our first intake of about 80 students in September 2017, who’ll work with us as co-developers from autumn 2018. Our formal process will seek out students with good grades – 3 A-levels (AAB) or equivalent – who have the potential to develop core competencies critical to meeting the demands of an ever-evolving global workplace. And we’ll be accepting applications for full and part-time study from people who have not chosen traditional academic pathways; for example, those who’ve completed apprenticeships or have relevant previous employment, including military service. We’ll also be looking to inspire women to study engineering in a gender-balanced environment.
But to recruit a top notch, talented community of future engineers, selection will also look beyond A- level grades; applicants will be challenged to produce several independent essays and we’ll interview them by Skype using a technique used by many employers, known as behavioural or competency- based interviewing. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to NMiTE for a day to find out more themselves and to give us the opportunity to observe them during group activities and meet them individually to evaluate their fit to our dynamic institution.
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